January 29th, 2015
MIDDLEBURY — Local elections will rank low on the list of reasons to draw Middlebury-area residents to their respective town meetings this March.
Candidates for local school and municipal offices had until Monday to file their petitions with their town clerks. A survey of the seven towns that make up the Addison Central Supervisory Union show there will only be a handful of contested elections when Middlebury-area residents head to the polls on Town Meeting Day, March 3.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury voters at their town meeting will field a proposed 2015-2016 general fund budget of $9,949,155 that would require a 3.8-cent hike in the municipal tax rate, but they will not be asked to consider a stipend increase for members of the town selectboard.
The proposed 2015-2016 municipal budget represents a 6.7 percent increase over the budgeted 2014-2015 spending plan. The current municipal tax rate is 94 cents per $100 in property value, so a 3.8-cent increase represents a 4 percent hike in taxes.
BRISTOL — More than a dozen five-town residents braved the snowstorm Tuesday evening to discuss creating a food co-op in Bristol after a local market closed its doors.
Several residents pitched the idea on Front Porch Forum after Timmi Moffi, the owner of Mountain Greens, announced that the market was closing after 11 year in business.
Moffi attributed much of the store’s failure to competition from Bristol’s lone supermarket.
MIDDLEBURY — There’s a message on the door leading into the cavernous, 12,000-square-foot warehouse in which Stonecutter Spirits will someday be able to age up to 1,500 barrels of its carefully crafted gin and whiskey.
“Shhh… The spirits are sleeping,” the message reads.
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Town Meeting Day ballot will offer two contested races, including a rematch of a 2012 contest decided by one vote, and a petitioned article.
It will not include Senior Alderman Randy Ouellette, who did not file a petition by Monday’s deadline and will step down after a decade.
One of the races is the second go-around between Susan Ferland and Cheryl Brinkman for the seat on the Vergennes Union Elementary School board now held by Ferland. Both are seeking a three-year term.
BRISTOL — The Bristol Recreation Club has backed out of its negotiations with the town of Bristol to sell some of its property for a site on which to build a new firehouse.
The move came after a Bristol resident pitched a new location and financing plan for the firehouse that the recreation club endorsed and both the town and fire department believe is viable.
VERGENNES — Although the Humanities course at Vergennes Union High School predates the Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirement (PBGR) effort at the school by two years, it has gained attention not only at VUHS, but elsewhere in the state.